Forecast order volume ahead of major holiday sales

Profile photo of author Emily Riedy
Emily Riedy
4min read
Owned marketing
November 30, 2023
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High consumer demand for your products is every business owner’s dream.

On the flip side, running out of inventory during a peak selling moment is the stuff of retail nightmares.

It’s a balancing act. Businesses want to make sure they’re prepared for seasonal moments like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Labor Day weekend, BFCM, and Boxing Day. But they don’t want to pre-order so much inventory that there’s a surplus after those speciality sales wind down—resulting in a waste of materials and resources.

So how do brands walk the profitability tightrope?

One way is using customer data as a forecasting tool. Legal Sea Foods, a popular restaurant chain on the east coast with a DTC operation, leveraged Klaviyo’s segmentation features to test this method.

Use segmented testing to predict market demand for your product

The team at Legal Sea Foods planned a special sale to launch for Father’s Day. But they weren’t sure how many orders it would bring in—and if they blasted it out to the restaurant’s full list of 1M+ subscribers, they could leave themselves open to an order volume fiasco.

Here’s how they planned ahead with help from Klaviyo:

  1. Activate the data you have: Based on purchase data collected via the Shopify x Klaviyo integration and Klaviyo’s message engagement data, Legal Sea Foods created a few segments of reticent ecommerce customers—frequent email openers who had never bought, or recipients who hadn’t yet opened an email—and sent them an email about the sale.
  2. Connect with your customers: The restaurant chain communicates with its DTC shoppers primarily through email—and launches sales via this channel, too.
  3. Guide your marketing efforts using smart features: Using Klaviyo’s automation tools, Legal Sea Foods was able to easily define a smaller group of subscribers and sent them a test campaign to see how many of them converted—guiding their strategy for a larger rollout and testing the demand for the sale.
  4. Grow toward your goals: By accurately predicting demand for their Father’s Day sale, the Legal Sea Foods team pulled off the sale without a hitch and ensured nothing went to waste. They also drove $21K+ in revenue in one holiday weekend.

Test ahead of time to get it right when it matters most

Trying out a certain message or sale in a subset of your unique market can produce valuable results. Maybe the message doesn’t land the way you think, or the sale wasn’t enticing enough to drive conversions.

Whatever the outcome, tests reveal learnings you can apply to a larger swathe of your audience—and Klaviyo makes it easy to A/B test both campaigns and automations.

Seriously, it’s this easy:

  1. Navigate to the Campaigns tab and click “Create an email campaign” (for example).
  2. Name your campaign.
  3. Select the lists or segments you want to send to.
  4. Input the subject line (and, if you want, edit the preview text, sender name, and sender email address).
  5. Create the first version of your email, adding your copy, images, and links. Don’t forget to save your creation.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click “Create A/B Test”. This will automatically create a second, identical variation of your campaign and bring you to the “Campaign A/B Test” page.
  7. From there, you can test content (think subject lines, CTA, body copy, and product images) or send time.

Word to the wise: When A/B testing, pick only one variable to test at a time. That way you’ll know for sure what’s responsible for the good or sub-par results.

Want the full case study?
Learn how Legal Sea Foods used segmented testing to prepare for a holiday sale.
Emily Riedy
Emily Riedy
Content marketing manager
Emily Riedy is a content marketing manager at Klaviyo where she works to publish content to educate and inspire online businesses owners and email marketers. Owned marketing channels are a means to building a substantial customer base for the long-term, and the content Emily is most passionate about helps business operators create strong business foundations in owned marketing principles. Before Klaviyo, Emily worked at a paid ads agency helping businesses transform their approach to digital advertising. When she's not strategizing marketing content, she is running around the streets of Boston training for whatever race is next up on the docket. She lives in the South End with her 2 year-old basenji Fig and frequents (probably too regularly) the local Spanish tapas spot.